1. On Cerin Amroth
There is a new wind in the trees.
The seasons are turning.
And all creatures, breathing in that air, are made ripe for change.
Beneath the golden boughs they walk together–Man and Elf, together. Not quite hand in hand they go, but it is no idle chance that now and again (often, in fact) hands brush against each other. Or she clasps his arm to draw his gaze to a bird on high, or he chooses the harder path and finds good employment in offering a hand over a fallen log or the tangled roots of trees. Never mind that a Ranger has never yet overlooked a bird so bright, nor an Elf yet needed such assistance–such things are unimportant.
For it is Midsummer's eve, and they are on a mission to see the stars.
Long ago, in Imladris, he was dazzled by a different light.
Then she turned to him and smiled, and she said: 'Who are you?'
Then Aragorn was abashed, for he saw the elven-light in her eyes and the wisdom of many days; yet from that hour he loved Arwen Undómiel daughter of Elrond.
They have talked much since he arrived. At first of things of little consequence–it is ever hard to know where to begin, where one ought to end.
"How is your father?"
"Well, thank you. And how went your journey?"
Well and badly, both, and much that was in between or else outrageous, but he says only, "Well... I am here." And bites his tongue. And when Arwen turns to him with upraised brow, he asks disarmingly, "You wish travelers' tales, my lady?"
"Nay," she replies, and her eyes pierce him to the core, even after so many years. "I wish to hear your tale."
Summer is the glory season, when all the trees are crowned with golden blossoms, and all that went to seed is now sprung up, grown wild, grown great.
He had walked ways hard and long among mortal men, and yet was more than they: elven-wise, with a light in his eyes and hope like bedrock beneath all guises.
She was little changed, yet her face was more grave, and her laughter now seldom heard; the Age had turned, and she with it.
They take the pathless ways through tree-hedged fields gone white with niphredil, brushing at the bees that dart among them. Between silences they speak of things they both have loved–of Imladris and its pines, the sound of voices they have missed, a favorite place in the sun.
The world contracts to the intimacy of memories shared. And in the timeless scape of Lórien, it seems that they have always known each other thus, though he reminds himself aloud at times that they have not. She always smiles–"It does not matter. Our time is now."
They went to the fair hill, Cerin Amroth, in the midst of the land, and they walked unshod on the undying grass with elanor and niphredil about their feet. And there upon that hill they looked east to the Shadow and west to the Twilight, and they plighted their troth and were glad.
And afterwards, upon the grass, they lay upon their cloaks and looked out at the stars over lantern-lit Lórien–he propped against a tree bole, she a warm weight in his arms.
"I have loved you only." His words come suddenly in the silence. She lifts her head slightly to look at him, and her new-trothed love replies to that look, "Heart and body, I love no other."
It is a curious thing to say, for she has not asked, wise enough to know that it is not past love but present, and the promise of the future that concerns them both. She leans forward to still all doubts...
When she draws back from the kiss, she murmurs, "Then I thank you for the gift." And waits. Nor waits long, as he laughs softly, and draws her down against him.
"Would I were so generous! Too much of war has taught me also too much of fear and made me think of myself. And so I decided long ago that in matters of the heart, I would do nothing out of fear. And so I have not–" fingers trail down white silk warm between them, and Arwen shivers at the touch "–and so I shall not, for in your hope, I put my trust. We shall have our day."
Above, the wind whispers in the treetops, and the summer sky is full of lights. And amid the sleeping buds, Aragorn and Arwen lie quietly together and watch the darkness passing.
A/N: If you think you've seen some of these lines before, you're probably right. A number of lines, particularly in the italicized sections, were lifted directly from Appendix A, "The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen". Some were then modified to fit the story, and some were moved closer together than they are in the original text.
Written and arranged for HASA's "Culture and Sexuality" nuzgûl, and so for anyone who has ever said: "I can't see Aragorn as sexually active prior to Arwen... but I also can't see him as abstaining! Gah!" I hope this story helps resolve the conflict for some, or at least make it interesting.
Many thanks to Lyllyn, Altariel, Alawa, and Isabeau for their help and encouragement.
Written April 19-24, 2004.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.